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  1. #1
    meltronic's Avatar
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    Shutterless Russian Cameras from Ukranians

    I've been looking at these (FKD?) 13x18cm cameras that are so cheap on Ebay. Just wondering:

    How hard is it to get a decent exposure with no shutter?

    Can these cameras be retrofit with more modern lenses with Copal shutters?

    If it's not obvious, I have no experience with LF, but I'm considering it.

    Thank you,
    Matt

  2. #2
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    I know several people that have retro fitted with newer lenses with shutters, Ole has a couple of FKD's if I am not mistaken.

    R.

  3. #3

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    It may be a safe bet to conclude that Ole has more than one of almost anything photographic.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  4. #4
    Ole
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    I object!

    I have only one FKD, and that's a 30x40cm model.

    I do however have one 24x30cm, one 18x24cm and two 13x18cm plate cameras of similar design although these are "originals": German cameras from between 1870 and 1930.

    The cameras are good! Front movements are limited to rise/fall and shift, both on the lensboard. Rear movements are about 10 degrees each of swing and tilt. While I have been in situations where I need more movements, these are rare.

    Exposure without a shutter is really a question of stopping down far enough to use a hat as a shutter. It works - f:64 on a cloudy day is turning into my standard exposure with these cameras.

    Any lens in any shutter can be mounted, it's just a question of making lensboards. Come to think of it - I still haven't used the lens that came with my FKD! I put a universal iris lens mount on it, and used an Angulon 210mm instead. That mount is now back on the camera it came on, and I haven't used the 30x40cm FKD since...
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  5. #5
    JG Motamedi's Avatar
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    The problem with these cameras is not the lens (another lens can easily be mounted on the camera) but the back. The FKDs have backs which are made for plates, not film. So in order to use film with these you have to attach a new GG back or tape your film to a glass sheet so they are registered properly. Neither is difficult, but perhaps not the easiest introduction to LF.

  6. #6
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    I have one FKD, it is a 13x18 cm and actually came with a second back equipped with a complete 4x5" Graflok back, including hood. The main problem with my camera is the quality of the wood used, I think it's pear wood, this is NOT dimensionally stable. The camera is held open by a large wooden sliding panel in the base, on my example this was very stiff, I persuaded it into the lock position and now use the camera as an ornament. The rigidity of the back is below the minimum I consider acceptable for a serious picture-taking instrument, and as others have said, the film holders (actually plate holders) are deeply eccentric. My camera came with 2 holders, one had plain 13x18cm sheets of glass in it, would therefore theoretically have accepted some 13x18cm sheet film, in practice trying to use the camera was just way too much effort. The sheaths of the film holders are wooden (of "roll-top-desk" type) and are also very stiff, far too stiff to pull out smoothly.



 

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